Jesus Is Waiting With Open Arms

Welcome! My name is Susan Osten, and I would like to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with you. God eagerly desires a loving relationship with you, but sin separates us from God:

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23 (KJV)

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (KJV)

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NKJV)

Do you want to be at peace with God?

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our LORD Jesus Christ,” Romans 5:1 (NIV)

But it didn’t end with His death on the cross. He rose again and still lives!

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,”   1 Corinthians 15:3-5 (NIV)

Jesus is the only way to God.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  John14:6 (KJV)

Would you like to receive God’s forgiveness?

We can’t earn salvation; we are saved by God’s grace when we have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. All you have to do is believe you are a sinner, that Christ died for your sins, and ask for His forgiveness. Then turn from your sins—that’s called repentance. Jesus Christ knows you and loves you. What matters to Him is the attitude of your heart, your honesty.

If you wish to ask Jesus into your heart, please pray the following prayer:

Jesus, I acknowledge that You are the Son of God. I believe You died on the cross at Calvary, where You shed Your blood for my sins, and that You rose from the grave and conquered death. I repent of my sins, and I ask You to forgive me for my sins. Please change my heart to be like Yours – full of love and forgiveness. Help me to obey Your teachings in the Bible. Please be my Savior and my Lord. Thank You for extending Your grace to me, and for saving me from an eternity in Hell. Thank you for giving me a new life here on earth. Amen.

If you prayed the prayer above: you are now, God’s child. Pray to your heavenly Father: tell Him what kind of help you need.

“For it is with the heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:10 (NIV)

May God’s grace and peace be with you.

In † Christian Love, Susan Osten

– Excerpts from one of Billy Graham’s Salvation Invitations

God Is Our Safe Haven, A Place to rest our hearts

I was nearly sixteen years old when the following incident happened, and I can only remember fragments.

I was babysitting in one of the houses in my subdivision (houses in my subdivision were being built, at that time). I cannot remember who the parents of the child were, nor can I remember anything about the child. I do remember, playing one record on the record player, in their Livingroom, named: Bridge Over Troubled Water.

The house I was babysitting in was facing an open field, and it was nighttime, around 9:00 p.m. I remember opening the curtains to take a look out front when suddenly, I saw four Hispanic men jump out of their vehicle in front of the dumpster, which was located across the street from the house I was in. I remember running downstairs to the first floor (the Livingroom and Kitchen were located upstairs) and I locked the door to the garage. The next thing I remember was that it was morning; although, I can’t remember anything about spending the night such as going to bed, etc. I definitely, remember calling my dad the next morning from the house I was babysitting in. I remember telling him about the occurrence the night before while looking across the fields towards my house, out of their kitchen window.

I don’t feel like anything happened, but the fact that I can only remember fragments, “can be” worrisome, but “I choose to thank God for the day and the moment I have.” Valvano.

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 (NIV)

Is there something in your life that you need peace about, today? God is only a prayer away.

PRAYER

“Father, just as my home provides refuge from the harmful elements outside, You are a refuge and a place to rest my heart. I am grateful for Your protection and for always being a place of peace to run to. I am adorned by Your grace and loving care in the seasons of my soul. You are my safe haven. All praise and glory to You.” In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

“…GOD HAS CALLED US TO LIVE IN PEACE” I Corinthians 7:15 (NIV)

In † Christian Love, Susan Osten

Sources:

Excerpt from the book, “A Prayer A Day For Hope & Encouragement”

A Small Glimpse Into The Life of Susan Osten That Nobody Knows

I was born in Northampton, England and lived there until I was eleven years old. My mother met my stepfather, an American and an air force veteran, when I was four years old, and they married when I was five. In time, my dad told the family, “The only way we are going make it is to move to America!”

It almost broke my heart to leave my grandmother and grandfather because of the amount of time I spent with them both. My mother, my sister, and myself, lived with my grandparents a while before my mom met my stepfather, who legally adopted us, a year or so after we arrived in America.

We crossed the ocean on the SS United States, and during our voyage, we hit the tail-end of a Hurricane. My sister slid across the dining room floor strapped into her chair, with the waiters running after her. I was at the table too, but I was too seasick to eat. I remember the voyage as a harrowing experience.

We all returned to England several years later, I was thirteen years old and couldn’t wait to see my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, again. One night, at my grandmother’s house, I found my grandmother in her bedroom, sitting in a chair. I sat down, at my grandmother’s feet. Shortly, thereafter, she looked down at me and said, “You will be the Queen of Witches.” I was a little startled, but I didn’t think much about it until I was much older, and my mother told me my grandmother was a witch.

My mother told me some other things, too. She told me my legs hurt me severely, and that I used to scream so loud that one of the neighbors called the police. I believe I was about three years old. I can’t remember anything about it, but I due vaguely, remember the policeman’s hat.

Several years ago, a doctor asked me, “Have your knees ever been broken?” About six years ago, a doctor asked me, “Who broke your back?” I used to have a lot of back problems, and the doctor probably took an x-ray, it’s just too long ago to remember the exact details of that doctor’s visit.

Because of what my mother told me, and what the two doctors asked me, it made me wonder, “What, if anything, happened to me as a small child?”

My mother also told me that she visited a fortune teller, and that the fortune teller told her that one of her children would not out live her. I have three other siblings, and I was the only one she told. My mother told me this over and over again. She told me this throughout my twenties, thirties and forties. The seed of death she planted in me,  gnawed  at me until the day my beloved mother died on April 11, 2012, due to complications of Scleroderma.

Now, for the “Good News!”

I was nineteen or twenty years old, I can’t be certain, but one thing I do know is that I was a Christian. One day, while I was driving, I stopped the car by a telephone booth, to call my grandmother, in England. I told her about Jesus, and she prayed and asked Jesus into her heart.

After I became a Christian, I witnessed to my mother, often. One day, I was driving home from work (a forty-five minute trip) and my mother called me on my cell phone. When I answered, she told me she had asked Jesus into her heart, and that she was listening to a Christian radio station when it happened. In my entire lifetime, I have never heard my mother’s voice so peaceful.

I have peace in knowing that one day, I will see the two women that I loved the most in my lifetime, in heaven.

In Christian † Love, Susan Osten

Susan Osten’s Testimony

I was fifteen years old when I realized that I loved God, and I wanted to serve Him. I even asked my dad about becoming a Nun. He responded by telling me, “There are many ways to serve God,” and he handed me a Bible. He also said, “The Bible would answer all my questions about God.” Sometimes, I would read the Bible my dad gave me, outside, under one of the streetlights, near my house.

Unfortunately, as a young teen, I didn’t follow through with my desire to serve God. I succumbed to peer pressure, and I began to hang around with the wrong people. I used drugs, disobeyed my parents, ran away from home, and skipped school: my life spiraled out of control.

I was nineteen years old when I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. It was Springtime, and I remember driving down the highway looking at all the beautiful flowers, wondering, “What could I do to feel as pretty inside, as those flowers looked outside.” I felt impure! After I became a Christian and learned more about the Holy Spirit, I realized that the “impure” feeling was the Holy Spirit convicting me.

One evening, a few days later, I was ironing and watching the 700 Club on the television. Pat Robertson, the Host of the 700 Club asked a question that, instantly, got my attention. He said, “Is there anyone in our audience, that has not asked Jesus Christ to come into their heart, and to forgive their sins?” Then he turned his attention to the television audience and asked them the same question. He asked all who wished to ask Jesus into their hearts and receive forgiveness for their sins, to pray with him, so I prayed with Pat! When we finished praying together, Pat encouraged those who prayed with him, to call somebody that they knew and tell them about the decision they had just made, or call the 700 Club and tell one of the telephone operators on standby, that you had just prayed and asked Jesus to come into your heart and to forgive you for your sins.

I chose to call the 700 Club. The lady who answered the phone was happy for me! She asked me, “Would you like to receive the Holy Spirit?” I said, “Please send me more information about that subject.”

“For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:10 (NIV)

After I became a Christian, I read my Bible, regularly and I found that I needed to be baptized in water.

Water baptism is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus.

I had no church affiliation, and I didn’t know what church to call, to baptize me, so I decided to open the telephone book and look for a church. I had no idea what denomination to choose, so I closed my eyes, and pointed. Please don’t follow my example, there are many cults (false teachers) in the World, today! When I opened my eyes my finger was on a church called: Full Gospel Fellowship, which happened to be just a few miles from my home. I called that church and asked the Pastor, whose name was Gary Wood, to baptize me in water. He was happy to do so, and he told me what day and time to be at their church service, to be baptized. When I went into the church, the people were very friendly. The Pastor baptized me and afterward, he taught the Word of God. I joined that church and went on to serve God in many different capacities for eight years.

One day, after one of the church services, Tina, the wife of Richard Ford, an Elder at that time, said “Would you like to have a Ladies Bible Study in your home?” I was longing to learn more about God’s Word, so I held one in my home about a week later. At the end of the Bible Study, Tina asked me, “Have you received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?” I told her, “No” and she asked me, “Would you like to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?” I was a little embarrassed because I didn’t know what to expect, so I declined.

After everyone went home, I began to think about Tina’s question. I concluded, that if God had more to offer me: I wanted it! I got down on my knees and asked God to baptize me with the Holy Spirit. God answered my prayer. I was so thrilled about the unbelievable experience that I had just had with the Holy Spirit, that I went to the telephone, to call one of my friends and tell them the Holy Spirit is real! I picked up the receiver, and my legs buckled: I dropped the receiver and slid down the wall, to the floor.

The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a blessing from God which causes ordinary people to become extraordinarily, effective witnesses for Jesus Christ.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (ESV)

By it, God equips believers today with the same power we read about in the New Testament. Please take the time, to read the second chapter of Acts.

God’s plan has been to supernaturally equip every believer, so that the ministry of Jesus Christ may continue through us.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” John 14:12 (KJV)

Jesus now directs growing multitudes of Spirit-empowered men and women to carry His Gospel around the world.

The blessing of salvation is now, being extended to you, the reader. If you haven’t asked Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior, and you would like to, please click on the link, below:

https://jesusiswaitingwithopenarms.com/2021/06/07/come-to-jesus-just-as-you-are/

Peace Be with You!

In † Christian love, Susan Osten

What is a non-denominational church and is it right for you?

To read this article, please click on the link, below, and then, click on the link located at the top of the popup box that says, What Is a Non-Denominational Church, and Is It Right for You? – Topical Studies.

https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/what-is-a-non-denomination-church-and-is-it-right-for-you.html?

In † Christian Love, Susan Osten

God will judge everyone according to their deeds, so believers should desire to please God, as they live in their earthly bodies…

I’m humbled every time I open my Bible and read the Apostle Paul’s words. He had a tremendous love for Jesus, a resilient attitude, unwavering dedication, he was selfless, and O how he loved his brothers and sisters in Christ. He was wholly committed to fulfilling God’s calling.

Forgiven Much – Loves Much

“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. Luke 7:41-43 (NIV)

I believe it’s right to say that Paul loved much because he had been forgiven much? Paul was a Pharisee and he persecuted the church unmercifully before he met Jesus. Paul speaks about it below:

“I myself indeed was [once] persuaded that it was my duty to do many things contrary to {and} in defiance of the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And that is what I did in Jerusalem; I [not only] locked up many of the [faithful] saints (holy ones) in prison by virtue of authority received from the chief priests, but when they were being condemned to death, I cast my vote against them. And frequently I punished them in all the synagogues to make them blaspheme; and in my bitter fury against them, I harassed (troubled, molested, persecuted) {and} pursued them even to foreign cities.” Acts 26:9-11 (AMP)

Pleasing God in Our Earthly Bodies

Paul describes the wonder of the gospel – that human believers carry the glory of God within them – as having “treasure in earthen vessels.”

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV)

Clay jars are weak, fragile, and subject to being broken. But like the pitchers used by Gideon’s army (See Judges 7:15-25), they may be broken for a purpose. When the jar is broken, the light within shines brightly and does not go unnoticed, it may have a powerful effect. Numerous people throughout Christian history have been “broken,” only to reveal the great power of the Spirit of God. “Charlotte Elliott for instance was a woman who suffered from an unknown illness for decades. As you can imagine, the hopelessness and discomfort that came with her condition left her bitter and harsh. After some time she began to warm to the idea of giving her life to Christ. Upon the visiting of a Swiss preacher, Elliott finally understood that she could come to Christ just as she was. Years later this sentiment would be written into one of Elliott’s poems before it was put to music. Today, “Just As I Am” is one of the most popular invitational hymns of all time and has been used by many evangelists like Billy Graham. As for Charlotte Elliott’s illness, it stuck with her over the years but she was able to live faithfully until the age of 82.”

When difficult trials seemingly break us, we must trust God. This is the key, that will open up opportunities for God to do amazing things in our lives. The believer is not as fragile as he or she may appear. Paul knew from personal experience that it was possible to be (1) hard-pressed without being crushed; (2) perplexed, but not in despair; (3) persecuted, but not abandoned; (4) struck down, but not destroyed.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV)

Like a tabernacle or tent, the earthly body is temporary and far from perfect. At death, believers leave behind their physical bodies and are provided vastly superior heavenly bodies.

“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” 2 Corinthians 5:1 (NIV)

The physical body will perish, but the deeds a believer has done in it (whether good or bad) are the basis for judgment.

Christians – those who are going to heaven because Jesus has forgiven their sins – will discover that God will judge their works too! But this judgment is to evaluate the “spiritual works” we did in this life. It is not for punishment. They will go to heaven because of Jesus’ forgiveness.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10 (NASB)

“Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 (NASB)

Give God your best, serve Him voluntarily, with a loving attitude, while you’re here on earth. If you serve God out of obligation, those works might burn. On Judgment Day, God will be looking at our hearts.

In † Christian Love, Susan Osten

Sources: KJV Study Bible, Popular Hymn Writers of the 1800S: Worship Through History – By KFA – September 17, 2017

God Never Ceases to Amaze Me!

“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in EVERY DETAIL of their lives.” Psalm 37:23 (NLT)

On Friday, August 6, 2021, I went to the store, and when I arrived, the first thing I looked for was some small chickens to put on the windowsill in the kitchen. They didn’t have any small chickens, so I just forgot about them. A day later, I was hanging a Cross in my foyer and I needed a larger nail. It was too hot to go outside, into our storage shed, so I went into our spare bedroom, looked around, and I decided to open the top drawer of my makeup table. In that drawer was a small, white, plastic box. I opened it, and I found some long nails, hooks, and some small jewelry tools. Out of curiosity, I looked a little deeper and guess what I found, wrapped in plastic? Two multicolored, glass chickens about 3 1/2″ tall. They were exactly what I wanted. I smiled and said, “Thank you!” to the Lord.

When you stop and lovingly focus on God, He will show you how lovingly He is focused on you.

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NLT)

Susan Osten

Chosen By God’s Grace

Paul and Barnabus we’re preaching the gospel to the Gentiles.

“When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.” Acts 14:48 (NIV)

Matthews Henry’s Commentary states the following about Acts 14:48:

Those came to Christ whom the Spirit made the gospel call effectual. It is called the faith operation of God: “having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.” Colossians 2:12 (NIV), and it is said to be wrought by the same power that raised up Christ.

God gave this grace to believe to all those among them (them meaning Paul and Barnabus), who were ordained to eternal life: “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” Romans 8:30 (NIV) or, as many as we’re disposed to eternal life, as many as had a concern about their eternal state and aimed to make sure of eternal life, in whom God hath treasured up that life: “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 John 5:11 (NIV), and who is the only way to it; and it was the grace of God that wrought in them.

“Grace is the unmerited favor of God. Every good thing in this life is by God’s grace. All our accomplishments are by His grace alone. Without His grace you wouldn’t be able to breath!”

“Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon.” – John Piper

“Grace means that all of your mistakes now serve a purpose instead of serving shame.”

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life].” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (Amplified Bible)

If you wish to give your heart to Jesus, please click on the link below:

COME TO JESUS JUST AS YOU ARE – Jesus Loves You! (jesusiswaitingwithopenarms.com)

In † His Service, Susan Osten

Sources: Matthew Henry’s Commentary and Excerpts from Bible Reason/Grace.

One of the Greatest Dangers in a Christians’ Life is Stagnation

One of the greatest dangers in a Christians’ life is stagnation (ceasing to run or flow). Christians should fear backsliding, and stagnating in their walk with God.

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”  Philippians 2:12-13 (NIV)

Jesus knows your heart and where you stand in your relationship with Him. He will not loosen His grip on you.

I will cover three topics: 1) Flowing with the Holy Spirit: 2) Praise, Worship, and Reverence; and 3) Peace.

As you begin to read, keep this in mind that Jesus does not want you to focus on who you are now, He wants you to focus on what He wants you to become.

Flowing with the holy spirit

This is exactly how the flow of the Holy Spirit operates in our life. You need to put yourself in the shoes of the person wading the river and look at the life giving waters as the Holy Spirit.

Initially you are ankle deep in the water. This itself is a wonderful feeling as your dry and tired feet receive great comfort when they come in contact with the water. As you progress you get deeper into the water, you still are in full control and for the water to flow it has to go around you. Soon you reach a point where you no longer need to wade and the current lifts you and you begin to flow along with the river itself. At this point you no longer have control but you know you are in safe hands with the Spirit of God.

This river itself originated from God’s house and flows into barren lands and deserts which signify people and places that are broken, wounded, dead and desperately need help. Observe as the river flows through these places it brings life. It brings the healing power of God into the lives of those who are touched by it. This river literally blesses anything that comes in contact with it.

It says the very seas get their life and purity from this river but the marshes and swamps will not benefit. In these places water does not flow, it stagnates and over time becomes unfruitful. This means that those who are not willing to grow, change and become better over time cannot benefit from the Holy Spirit. He can work in your life only if you are willing to step outside your boundaries and are willing to let go of your innate desire to control situations and your natural tendency to resist change.

Praise, Worship, and Reverence

What is your way of thinking towards God in your lowest valleys? Do you Praise, Worship and Revere God, or do you lose your peace and find yourself in a state of great disturbance, confusion, or uncertainty?

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart? I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33 (NIV)

Jesus wants you to do the following when you’re on the Mountain Top and when you are in your lowest Valley: Praise Him – which means to express one’s respect and gratitude; Worship Him – which is the feeling or expression of exaltation, glorification, devotion, and adoration; Reverence Him – which is to “Honor with profound respect.

The hymn, “Day By Day” was written by Lina Sandell in 1865. Lina and her dad were on their way to Gothenburg and her father fell overboard the ship and drowned. Lina was eyewitness to the tragic death of her father. Lina composed a few hymns out of the depths of her broken heart, and “Day by Day” is one of them.

In this hymn, she takes to her Heavenly Father who is sufficient to meet all her needs and care for her. This hymn depicts the cruel realities of this temporal life and the pains and agonies that come along with it. Yet, it points to the promising help of a divine Father amidst these trials and learn to trust and rest in His promises.

Every day the Lord Himself is near me

With a special mercy for each hour;

All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me.

He whose name is Counselor and power.

peace

If you’re stagnated in your walk with God, you will have no peace.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:7 (NIV)

As the scripture says, God’s peace is meant to make us content with who we are and what we have. When we aren’t filled with the peace God gives, we end up trying to deal with adversity and worry that God’s peace is meant to relieve. We find ourselves struggling through the adversity and worry in a way that lacks no discipline or restraint. You end up discouraged and your faith falters…meaning that you see-saw, think twice, get cold feet, and waver. You’re basically left sitting on the fence.

When we are filled with God’s peace we are freed up to love God and others.

What distractions, habits, or thought processes in your life are holding you back from being all God wants you to be and also, steeling your peace?

Maybe you get upset over small things, or you’re just too busy. Maybe you become easily bitter in relationships, or you trust yourself more than you trust God. Do you find that you have a lack of compassion? Maybe you are holding on to something that is detrimental to you.

To be all God wants you to be, you must surrender, and allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life. The scripture below sums it all up:

“For this reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.”  2 Peter 1:5–7 (NIV)

Lord I want to Return to You

Sometimes our own recklessness, traumatic experiences, or distracting life circumstances take us away from the Church and distance us from God. No matter what, God never despairs over us and always lovingly expects us to return to His shelter.

This prayer is for all who sincerely seek the way back home.

Jesus, I used to enjoy Your trust, and You were close to me. Then I left Your shelter and Your community. You know why.

I want to go back to You, but I don’t know if I can step through the door to You again.

Lord, I remember the beauty of Your church services, the singing, and the comfort I felt as I prayed with others at Your altar. Lord, thank You for bringing back to me this memory and awakening in me a longing for it.

Thank You for all that you have given me throughout my life.

Lord, I long for Your nearness. I desire Your grace, which gives meaning to my life.

I long for Your gentle mercy, and even for Your admonitions, which have kept me from even greater mistakes.

I miss Your patience, which helped me grow in faith and let me know that I am important to You.

Lord, I call on You to break the arrogance and pride that hinder me from coming back to You.

Lord, I’m afraid of looking weak if I begin to search for You. Please free me from the fear of the judgment of others.

Lord, send me the Holy Spirit, so I can cast off my burdens, which grow heavier by the day. Grant me, Your Grace, so that I will no longer hide anything from You. Let the wall that has grown between us be torn down. Amen

“There is no safer place than in the palm of God’s hand; with peace as our shelter, we rest in His plan. Though trials may try us we’ve learned what is true – with wisdom and grace He will carry us through.” – Author Unknown

In † Christian Love, Susan Osten

Sources:

Excerpts from “The Holy Spirit” By Blue Flames;

Day by Day – Top 10 Hymns from ibelieve.com;

Lord I Want to Return to You By Operando.

Detecting Modern False Prophets

Here are five ways to detect a modern false prophet.

1. False prophets preach the gospel of prosperity.

False teachers will lead their congregation to believe that God wants them to be happy and wealthy. Some teachers even take it further, and declare that if a Christian isn’t financially rich, or isn’t emotionally and relationally prosperous, they just “aren’t praying hard enough” or “need to increase their faith”. This type of teaching is dangerous and inaccurate. The Bible clearly states otherwise about the expectations of what this world has to offer.

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:25

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

2. False prophets refuse to call out sin.

False teachers don’t like to offend anyone, so they gloss over sin in order to keep their fans happy. They often do this by stating a particular controversial sin such as homosexuality, fornication, adultery, gluttony or greed isn’t a sin after all, so there’s no need to worry or change. They don’t realize that by condoning sin, they’re leading their congregation—happy as they might be—straight to Hell.

The Bible teaches that sin is a real issue—and a big one. It’s what separates us from God. It’s what condemns us to hell. Without the intercession of Christ, we would have never been able to get to Heaven or to a right relationship with God. This is the message of the Gospel.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Romans 3:23

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.”  Colossians 3:5-6

To ignore sin is to ignore our need for a Savior. And to ignore the Savior is to reject Him.

3. False prophets don’t believe in hell or the need for repentance.

False prophets are content to preach that hell is figurative. They believe there’s no need for repentance because Jesus died for everyone. They teach that we should just be grateful and that’s all there is to it.

This lie is especially tricky to decipher, because it sounds true at first. Jesus did die for the sins of the world. But salvation isn’t head knowledge alone, as we see in the following scripture:

“You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.”  James 2:19

The Bible teaches that to be saved, we must repent.

“And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  Acts 2:38

Hell is real—a real place, with real fire, and real separation from God.

“Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.”  Isaiah 5:14

4. False prophets don’t believe Jesus is the only way.

“Multiple paths, one destination” is a common belief in today’s society. For the sake of being tolerant and for fear of offending, recent generations are content to believe that everyone will make it to the same eternal destiny, via whichever religion they choose. The problem with this belief is that it directly contradicts Scripture.

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  John 14:6

Jesus made it perfectly clear that He is the way—the only way—to relationship with God. Without His sacrifice on the cross and the resurrection from the grave, the veil would have never been torn and we would have never gained access to our Heavenly Father.

5. False prophets don’t believe in the inerrancy of Scripture.

False prophets will teach that the Bible contradicts itself, or has “holes.” This simply isn’t true. Any alleged contradictions in Scripture are a misunderstanding on the part of the reader, or is an intentional spin away from proper context in an attempt to deceive. The truth is found in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”  2 Timothy 3:16-17

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8

True followers of Jesus Christ stand on the foundation of the living Word of God. It’s trustworthy and true.

In † His Service, Susan Osten

Source: By Betsy St. Amant Haddock, iBelieve Contributing Writer

Peace Be With You!

How quickly God’s peace escapes us. We live in a chaotic world; we’re at war with evil, spiritual forces; we have so many things on our plate, we don’t know which one to do first, which results in a nagging feeling of always being behind.

“God is not a God of disorder but of peace…” I Corinthians 14:33 NIV

How can Jesus’ light shine through us to those God has placed in our path, when our emotions are out of control and our mouths speak things contrary to the Word of God.

If you want to change your life, you must be a HEARER of God’s Word and a DOER of God’s Word. One doesn’t work without the other.

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22 (NIV)

Otherwise, you will be helplessly wandering in the wilderness, wondering, “Why me!” Obey God’s message: don’t be a fool!

“A fool gives full vent to his spirit but a wise man quietly holds it back.” Proverbs 29:11 (ESV)

In the following Scriptures, Paul tells us how to keep God’s peace:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:4-9 NIV

Prayer

Dear heavenly Father, life today is so chaotic. It’s hard to watch the news without feeling overwhelmed, and it’s hard to live without feeling as though I’m always behind. Please come into this day with Your peace and calm me. Bring order to my thoughts and help me to control my emotions and my mouth.

Forgive me for yielding to my negative emotions and disregarding Your Word. Forgive me for opening my mouth, and bringing disgrace to all that Jesus stands for. Forgive me for not being a doer of Your Word.

Help me rest by staying in perfect stride with Your Spirit on the path You have set before me.

In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

In † Christian Love, Susan Osten

June is National Scleroderma Awareness Month

What is Scleroderma?

Scleroderma is a rare and debilitating autoimmune disease which there is no cure for. It’s often progressive and sometimes, fatal. It affects every age and gender and it’s neither preventable or contagious. It confuses the best of the medical field by making it difficult to diagnose. Scleroderma attacks the Vascular System, cutting off blood flow to extremities, resulting in Gangrene and amputation. It affects the Gastrointestinal Tract, Heart, Kidneys, Lungs, and Esophagus. Scleroderma causes hardening, thickening, and tightening of the skin which oftentimes, causes devastating results to one’s facial appearance and one’s mobility. Scleroderma has no cure.

Scleroderma steals lives, families, friends, jobs and so much more.

For more information about Scleroderma, please visit the Scleroderma Foundation @

http://www.scleroderma.org.

For more information about Juvenile Scleroderma, please visit the Juvenile Network @

http://www.jsdn.org.

To donate to the Scleroderma Research Foundation, please visit the Scleroderma Research Foundation @ http://www.srfcure.org.

Please help us “Raise Awareness” of Scleroderma, by sharing this information with family, friends, and co-workers.

Raising awareness of Scleroderma is one of the “Greatest Gifts” you can give to those who have Scleroderma.

Please accept my invitation, to visit my Scleroderma Facebook Pages. The names of the my Pages are as follows:

Help End Scleroderma † and Support Scleroderma Awareness: WE NEED A CURE

Thank you for your time.

In † Christian Love, Susan Osten

Prayer For Those Who Are Involved in the Occult

Father, we come before You in prayer and in faith. We bring before You those, and families of those represented by visitors and followers of Your website, Jesus Loves You!

Father, stretch forth Your Hand from above; rescue and deliver them from those whose mouths speak deceit. Please execute justice, for the oppressed, and cast the wicked down. Open the eyes and hearts of the disobedient, incredulous, and unpersuadable, so they can see their impending doom, if they do not turn to Jesus.

Please send your angels to block the paths of the wolves from the paths of the innocent. Please comfort and heal those that are experiencing loneliness, heartache, and misery, and those that are beaten and bruised, mentally and physically.

Father, we would ask You to raise Your Mighty Hand, and dispel the forces of darkness. Open the eyes of these loved-ones and friends, and bring them into the knowledge and understanding of the salvation that comes through faith in Jesus Christ. We believe that You will deliver them from every assault of evil, and bring them to Yourself, preserve them and bring them safely out of the Occult. We will continually, Praise You, as we await their deliverance. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

NO ONE, BUT GOD, CAN OPEN THE EYES OF THE SPIRITUALALLY BLIND

Below are a few Scriptures stating that God alone is the One Who can open our eyes to see Biblical truths. We can find evidence of this in Deuteronomy 29:4 (ESV) “But to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear.” and also in Ephesians 1:18 (KJV) “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,”

The eyes of understanding. It is with these eyes of understanding, alone, that we discern the things of God.

In closing, it is my prayer that all who read this, COME TO KNOW AND JOYFULLY EXPERIENCE the GRACE that God has extended to humanity through His Son, Jesus Christ, the blessing of God’s presence, the many promises God has made to believers, and His abundant blessings.

In † Christian Love, Susan Osten

Becoming Resilient: How to Recover When You’ve Lost Faith

Tests, pressure, setbacks, failure, and trouble can expose the condition of our faith. We need Bible verses about resilience to help us believe that those challenges don’t have to own us.

Resilience is defined as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, tragedy or significant sources of stress.

No matter who we are, or how life is currently going, one thing that is inevitable is that our faith will be tested.

These challenges can range from our everyday struggles and disappointments to life changing losses. The quality of our faith – our faith in God, our faith in relationships, and our faith in life – is revealed during these times of testing.

  • Be a builder, not a storm chaser
  • Be a learner, not a quitter
  • Be prayerful through failure

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

James 1:2-4 MSG

Tests, pressure, setbacks, failure, and trouble force our faith into the open and reveal its true colors. We need Bible verses about resilience like this to help us believe that those challenges don’t have to own us.

What obstacles are you facing in your life that God is using  to mature, develop and prepare you for the next stage of your life?

Be a builder, not a storm chaser

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV)

A storm is something that is challenging and disruptive to our lives, and can lead to emotional tumult. Think health, kids, marriage, emotions…all of these areas are essentially out of our control, and can weigh heavy on us if something goes awry.

Storm chasers follow behind storms for a variety of reasons – some are thrill-seekers, some are meteorologists studying weather patterns. In the context of Matthew 7, we’ll define a storm chaser simply as someone who lives in constant reaction to the next storm of life.

A builder, on the other hand, tries to get ahead of storms. Builders spend their time and energy on ensuring that their foundation is as solid as it needs to be in order to stand firm during the storms of life. Being a builder means examining how aligned your life is with the Bible.

Storm chasers focus on:

Emotions – how do I mitigate my feelings?

Circumstances – how do I make my life as smooth as possible?

People – how do I make sure people like me?

Builders are:

Responsive – understand how God is helping me to adapt

Learners – understand how God is calling me to grow

God focused – understanding God is in control, so I don’t have to worry

A builder is resilient because they have worked to build a solid foundation; their faith in God remains intact even when it’s battered by wind, rain, and floods. Let’s assess how we are building and make the choice to build on the solid foundation.

Reflection questions

Do you think you are a storm chaser or a builder? Why?

When you go through storms, do you tend to focus most on people, circumstances, your own emotions, or understanding how God is calling you to grow?

How can you start practicing thinking like a builder today?

Be a learner, not a quitter

5 And have you forgotten his encouraging words spoken to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t underestimate the value of the discipline and training of the Lord God, or get depressed when he has to correct you. 6 For the Lord’s training of your life is the evidence of his faithful love. And when he draws you to himself, it proves you are his delightful child.”

Hebrews 12:5-6 TPT

When our faith is tested, scripture teaches us that we respond in one of three ways:

Underestimating – we diminish and ignore the value of discipline by minimizing, rationalizing or justifying our actions. Essentially, we refuse to change.

Get depressed – We quit by going through the motions, by being angry or by blaming.

Learn – We embrace God’s training by facing facts, taking responsibility and changing.

Being a learner allows us to build resiliency by facing life challenges with a faithful attitude, instead of getting angry, hard-hearted or depressed.

Now all discipline seems to be more pain than pleasure at the time, yet later it will produce a transformation of character, bringing a harvest of righteousness and peace to those who yield to it.

Hebrews 12:11 TPT

In order to have a transformation of faith and character, we must change our attitude about learning.

Reflection questions

Do you see learning as a pain or pleasure?

How are you responding to God’s training in your life?

How does your view of God need to change in order to embrace his training?

Be prayerful through failure

31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. 32 But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”

Luke 22:31-32 (NLT)

Failure is only fatal when it is absent of faith. After Peter experienced spiritual failure, Jesus encourages him. It’s one of many stories of resilience in the Bible that give us a blueprint for handling discouragement and setbacks today.

Three things we learn from this scripture:

We are fighting a spiritual battle and the fight is for our faith. It’s all too easy to focus on our life conditions or how we feel about the people around us, all the while forgetting that Satan is constantly trying to steal our faith.

Prayer is how we keep and strengthen our faith. We can spend a lot of time thinking, talking, and feeling instead of praying to God. Prayer strengthens our faith.

When we change, we help others to change. We can use everything we go through to help strengthen others.

Faith is what gives us the ability to take anything in life, including our humbling failures, and turn them into experiences that drive us to love others. Prayer helps keep us focused on God throughout this process, so we don’t get stuck in the weeds about how we feel. It is how we rely on God for the strength and resilience needed to learn from our failures and change.

Reflection questions

How is Satan trying to steal your faith?

Are you feeling, thinking, and talking more than praying to God for help?

Whose faith can you strengthen and inspire based on the lessons you have learned through failure?

The following passages describe several ways for your to develop real faith and spiritual resilience. Take time today to consider how you can make a real comeback by tackling these issues.

John 6:63 – Rely on the Word

John 6:33 – Obey the scriptures

Psalms 131 – Repent of pride

Proverbs 14:30 – Deal with Envy

Isaiah 42:5-7 – Change a life

Source:

Excerpts from Becoming Resilient: How to Recover When You’ve Lost Faith

Deep Spirituality Devotionals

http://www.deepspirituality.com

Author:  Staff Writer

December 16, 2019

God Wants You to Know the “TRUTH!”

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32 (KJV)

The truth is God loves all humanity, and He proved His tremendous love for humanity by sacrificing His only Son, Jesus, to atone for humanities’ sins.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 KJV

We can’t earn salvation; we are saved by God’s grace when we have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. All you have to do is believe you are a sinner, that Christ died for your sins, and ask His forgiveness. Then turn from your sins—that’s called repentance. Jesus Christ knows you and loves you.

What matters to Him is the attitude of your heart, your honesty.

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”  Romans 8:5-6 (ESV)

Would you like to receive God’s forgiveness?

Pray the following prayer:

Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that you raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:10 (NIV)

If you prayed the prayer, above: you are now, God’s child! Pray to your heavenly Father: tell Him what kind of help you need.

“So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” Matthew 7:11 (NLT)

– Billy Graham

Find a home church as soon as possible, also ask your Pastor about being baptized.

Christian baptism is a voluntary ceremony whereby a person publicly declares he or she has come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. Christian baptism is performed by dipping the believer under water and lifting him or her up again, symbolically representing the believer’s acceptance of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection for their sins. CompellingTruth.org

When you find a church to attend, please be sure Jesus is the main focus and the Word of God (Bible) is being taught.

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”  Matthew 7:15 (KJV)

Cults are sometimes, violent and very controlling, so if you prayed the prayer above: DO NOT JUMP THE GUN! Be sure that you have thought-out your next move, very carefully. Always remember…

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalms 46:1 (ESV)

I pray that God will protect you from any danger, and for His love to flood your heart, everyday, as you begin your new life, with Jesus, who will be forever by your side.

“…God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrew 13:5 (NIV)

In ✝️Christian Love, Susan Osten

Should Not a People Inquire of Their God?

“…Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?” (Isaiah 8:19)

Without Faith, people turn everywhere for assurance, even in the most useless and pathetic directions. People turn even to the quiet stars, studying the signs of the Zodiac, looking for signs of good luck, casing around like shipwrecked sailors for a rock on which to cling.  Isaiah observed all this nearly 3,000 years ago and he said…

“When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living.” (Isaiah 8:19).

The man who fears God fears nothing. This is what the Lord says…

“Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though their nations are terrified by them.” (Jeremiah 10:2)

We recognize God in all His awesome power to Save us, and nothing has greater power. Agreed?

By Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke

Prayer

Jesus, please set free those who are involved in the Occult. Please send Your laborers across their paths. Please shine Your light brightly on their dark paths, so they can, without doubt, see what grave danger they’re in, if they continue down the path they’re on. Jesus, please open their eyes, so that they may see what You have done for them through your incomprehensible love; by becoming a sacrificial lamb, enduring unimaginable suffering during Your crucifixion, death, and burial. Give them the faith to believe Your Word in Romans 10:9, which says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is LORD,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Would you like to receive God’s forgiveness? Please click on the link below:

https://jesusiswaitingwithopenarms.com/2021/01/06/god-wants-you-to-know-the-truth/(opens in a new tab)

In✝️Christian Love, Susan Osten

The Works of His Hands

In late October 2020, my husband and I decided to fix our broken bee. It sat on our porch for seven years; barely surviving a hurricane.

My husband spackled the holes in the bee’s side and stomach. After the spackle dried, I began painting the bee. I couldn’t settle on just several different colors, so I went to the Dollar General Store and purchased some fake jewels. I began to glue the jewels onto the bee’s wings and neck.

Shortly, after I began painting and gluing the jewels on the bee, I had a doctor’s appointment in which, I mentioned to my doctor that I was restoring a decorative bee. He asked to see a photo of it. After he looked at the photo of my bee, he turned to his credenza, pulled out an article and handed it to me. It was titled “The WORKS of His Hands.”

In † Christian Love, Susan Osten

There’s a hole in the bucket

By Stuart Wachowicz

In the amazing catalogue of living things that fill the earth, one discovers a myriad of examples of incredible intricacy that demonstrate just how complex life-forms and their cycles can be.

Flowers, the reproductive organs of flowering plants (angiosperms), are a case in point. We can easily marvel at the delicacy of a cherry blossom, a rose, or a lily. One flower, however, is particularly captivating, both in its design and in the manner in which it conscript an unsuspecting assistant to ensure the survival of its species.

Of Buckets and Bees Coryanthes speciosa and Stanhopea grandiflora, the two species of “bucket orchids,” native to the tropical areas of Mexico, Central and South America, and Trinidad. These members of the orchid family produce a flower that is uniquely beautiful in the plant kingdom. They also have a very sophisticated means of reproduction that requires the services of specific species of “orchid bees.” There are about 250 species of orchid bee, which are some of the most ostentatious of the be kind, noted for their jewel-like appearance (Stephen Buchmann, “Orchid Bees,” U.S. Dept. of Agriculture). Two subspecies of orchid bee, Euglossa meriana and Euglossa cordata, are just the right size, weight, and shape to be of assistance to the bucket orchid (Geoff Chapman, “Orchids…a witness to the Creator,” Creation magazine, September 1996).

Notice their jewel-like appearance.

The males of a particular subspecies of these bees will only visit one subspecies of bucket orchid, ensuring that no cross-Pollination of this delicate flower will occur. Each subspecies of bucket orchid secretes a scented, oily perfume, which is produced in the upper hood of the flower. Because each bucket orchid species produces a unique scent, useful in attracting its own species of orchid bee, and because of the highly specialized process involved, cross pollination is prohibited by design. The scent the males see will only attract a female of his species, maintaining the integrity of the system for both plant and pollinator. The male bees fill special pouches on their hind legs with it, using the perfume to attract lady friends, and they will endure any hardship to smell their best.

The Trap Is Sprung! The upper part of the flower, in which the plant produces its oily perfume, has a waxy surface, made more slippery by the perfume itself. As bees go about collecting their treasure, they usually slip and fall into the lower part of the flower – the “bucket” that gives the flower its name. Above the bucket is a gland that drips a watery fluid through a spigot, keeping the bucket partially filled. This species of orchid bee is just the right size and weight for the remarkable process that takes place during its visit to this fascinating flower. The bee, having fallen into the bottom of the bucket, would perish there in the liquid, unable to escape, were it not for a small “step” on the edge of the bucket. This step is just the right size and shape to enable the bee to pull itself out of the pool.

Alas, however, our bee would remain trapped in the flower were it not for a small tunnel located beyond the step. The tunnel, or tube, is just large enough for our species of orchid bee to pass through, and so he begins his escape. But just as he is about to exit to freedom, his escape tube contracts, holding the bee tightly in place. The contraction of this tube causes the secretion of a small amount of glue onto the bee’s back, but only upon a tiny, targeted area so as not to inhibit the bee’s ability to fly. Then two orange-colored sacs containing pollen (when the flower is in its “male phase”) are pressed onto the glue. It takes around 45 minutes to an hour for the glue to set, after which the escape tube relaxes and the bee flies free, now carrying the only pollen sacs that flower will produce.

Not Done Yet… Our be, despite his harrowing adventure, still has his lady friends in mind, and is in no way deterred from visiting another bucket orchid of the same species to top up his cologne supply. Alas, during the gathering of more scent oil, he again finds himself plunged into the bucket of another bucket orchid. Doggedly, he climbs out of the pool using the convenient step and goes through the now-familiar tunnel of freedom. This time, if the orchid flower has entered its “female phase,” instead of pollen sacs awaiting him at the end of the tunnel, there is a small hook-like structure. This removes the pollen sacs from the bee’s back and causes them to open and pollinate the flower’s pistil, or female reproductive organ, beginning the process leading to the development of orchid seeds, and thus ensuring another generation of this incredible plant.

Bees at the bottom of an orchid’s “bucket.”

Natural Selection Insufficient: Interestingly, even Charles Darwin recognized that there was no indication in the fossil record of the “evolution” of flowers, as he noted in an 1881 letter to botanist Sir Joseph Hooker. Darwin never did offer an explanation as to how a process like “natural selection” was sufficient to create a complex symbiotic (that is, mutually beneficial) relationship such as we see in this instance. In fact, the bucket orchid’s mechanism of pollination seems quite contrary to the norms of Darwinian theory. Process that makes survival more difficult and more prone to failure are supposed by Darwinism to be eliminated through natural selection, yet in the case of the bucket orchid, a complex mechanism that requires a partner with a single sub-species of bee – making survival even chancier – has flourished for millennia. Add to this the need of a simultaneous development of the highly specialized characteristics in the flower and pollinator, and a random process, such as described by Darwinian evolution, is totally improbable mathematically without intelligent direction…

This unique process prevents significant cross-pollination with other orchid species, helping to preserve the genetics of these plants in a relatively unchanged state from generation to generation. Bucket orchids still flourish today, inspiring wonder and joy in those who study them. This complex symbiotic relationship between a specific bee and a remarkable flower can only be the product of deliberate design. Any unbiased mind would have not choice but to agree.

The proclivity of man to deny that this world and the life within it are the products of a Great Designer is not new. Long ago, the great Jewish scholar we know as Paul wrote in frustration of those who find all sorts of ways to try to explain away the obvious:

“What may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” Romans 1:19-20

There are few examples that point any more clearly to the creative genius of that Great Designer than that of the little bucket orchid and the tenacious orchid bee.

John Davison Rockefeller, One of The Men Who Built America

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you as My priests. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.” Hosea 4:6 (ESV)

Rockefeller’s Religious Beliefs

John Davison Rockefeller was born July 8, 1839 and died May 23, 1937.

He was a devout Northern Baptist and supported many church – based institutions. He adhered to total abstinence from alcohol and tobacco throughout his life. For advice, he relied on his wife Laura Spelman Rockefeller with whom he had five children.

Rockefeller, would read the Bible daily, attend prayer meetings twice a week and even led his own Bible study with his wife. He tithed, rested on the Sabbath and gave away much of his money to charity. Additionally, Rockefeller took time to spend with his family, something that confused many business men.

In total, historians estimate that he gave away $550,000,000 which was more than any other American before him.

His philosophy of giving was founded upon biblical principles. He truly believed in the biblical principle found in Luke 6:38 (NIV), “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Rockefeller Center was officially completed November 2, 1939.

Prometheus, is an icon of history that can be recognizable to the eye, yet it’s possible that we know nothing about it.

That is often the case for the gold statue in Rockefeller Center’s lower Plaza. When picturing the skating rink, we don’t only imagine the sunken rink itself or the flow of skaters moving in a circle, but we see Prometheus, the 18-foot-tall, eight-ton, gilded cast bronze sculpture that was created by Paul Manship in 1934.

The sculpture has been in the background of countless concerts, tree lightings, skating shows and special events, but few are aware of its meaning or where it came from. Prometheus is just one piece of public art that was integrated into the plans of greater Rockefeller Center, but is definitely one of the most recognizable—in fact, many sources say this is the fourth most recognized statue in the country, behind the Lincoln Memorial, Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore, and is the most photographed piece of art in NYC.

Referencing Greek mythology, the statue depicts the Greek Titan Prometheus, best known for going against the wishes of the gods and providing fire to humanity (and thus is given credit for civilization and progress). Over time, this classical figure came to represent human striving and the quest for knowledge. Prometheus played a large role in the approach to the art and architecture in the Complex, especially given that the overall theme of the project was “New Frontiers and the March of Civilization.”

Prometheus perfectly embodies both ancient myths and forward-thinking progress. He is depicted in motion, thrusting forward with his right arm held high, handing off the eternal flame to all of mankind; he sits on a mountain (Earth), is surrounded by the fountain (sea) and is encircled by the ring of the zodiac (heavens).

For those that have never looked, an inscription accompanies the sculpture. It reads: “Prometheus, teacher in every art, brought the fire that hath proved to mortals a means to mighty ends.”

Susan Osten: The sculpture was created by Paul Manship in 1934. I could not find anything about Paul’s religious beliefs.

Given Rockefeller’s devout Christian beliefs and accomplishments, this statue is totally opposite to how Rockefeller lived his life.

On the 88 Annual Christmas at Rockefeller Center, on Wednesday night, December 2nd. This statue was the backdrop for almost all the entertainers. The only two entertainers who I saw choose a different backdrop, were Dolly Parton and the Pentatonix. I was so preoccupied trying to figure out what that statue represented, I researched it.

I believe it should be replaced with a statue of John Davison Rockefeller, with an inscription of all his “Good Deeds and Accomplishments” throughout his life.

Listed below, are three of The Ten Commandments in Exodus 20

“You shall have no other gods before me.”

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.

“You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God…”

Where does God draw the line concerning these types of statues?

I pray you found this blog educational.

May God keep you in His warm and comforting embrace!

In † His Service, Susan Osten

Sources:

Excerpts from “The Men Who Built America, John D. Rockefeller’s Faith by Kurt Jaros, Executive Director of Defenders Media

Rock History by Jane Lerner

Google and Wikipedia

Silence is Power & A True Faith Will Control the Tongue

“The wicked is snard by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.” Proverbs 12:13-14 (KJV)

“With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor, But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.” Proverbs 11:9 (KJV)

“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” James 1:26 (KJV)

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be SWIFT to HEAR, SLOW to SPEAK, SLOW to WRATH. For the wrath of a man worketh not the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20 (KJV)

Study Notes: In James 1:19-25, James condemns, dormant, unapplied knowledge. He calls for people to listen to a message of truth and then live consistent with that message, and he offers guidelines for what that might look like. The pressure that trials create may make believers quick to react in anger; James says act differently. These verses are a key for the letter because they point to a faith that results in changed behavior.

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27 (KJV)

James says one’s religion is worthless if it is without fruit. James 1:26

The following quote jumped out when I read it because I spend quit a lot of time in solitude and silence. Most days, when my husband goes to work, I turn off the TV and do my housework, read my Bible, and pray in Silence and Solitude.

The quote is a follows:

“Very few of us know the secret of bathing out souls in silence. It was a secret our Lord Jesus Christ knew very well.”

A W Tozer

Following is an excerpt from Jesus’ Solitude and Silence by Bill Gaultiere:

“The priority of Jesus’ solitude and silence is everywhere in the Gospels. It’s how He began His ministry. It’s how He made important decisions. It’s how He dealt with troubling emotions like grief. It’s how He dealt with the constant demands of His ministry and CARED FOR HIS SOUL. It’s how He taught his disciples. It’s how He prepared for important ministry events. It’s how He prepared for His death on the cross.

Sometimes silence shows our power more than anything else will.

Whatever can elicit a response from you is what has power over you. That’s why bullies teas and try to rile the other kids up. If they can get the other kids mad, sad, or even fighting, the bully feels powerful because he is forcing the other kids to do what he wants.

As Jesus showed us, silence is sometimes the greatest display of power. Jesus showed His power in many ways, and one of those ways was through His silence.”

Following are some scriptures showing some of the times Jesus chose Solitude and Silence:

Matthew 12:19; Isaiah 53:7; Acts 8:32; Matthew 15:23; Matthew 26:63; Matthew 27:12; Matthew 27:14; Mark 14:61; Mark 15:5; Luke 23:9; John 19:9; John 14:30; John 19:10; Mark 3:7; Luke 6:12-13; Mark 3:13; Matthew 13:1-3; Mark 4:1

May Jesus bless each one of you who read this blog, with a revelation of this POWERFUL TRUTH about Solitude and Silence!

In † His Service, Susan Osten

Sources: The KJV Study Bible, the study notes are adapted from the Layman’s Simplified Commentary Series & Jesus’ Solitude and Silence by Bill Gaultiere

My Testimony of God’s Protection

“The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my savior; thou saved me from violence. I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.”  2 Samuel 22:3-4

The incident occurred around 10 p.m. My husband, son and I were sleeping, and the phone rang. My husband was a Locksmith, and it was a call to go and unlock someone’s car. My son, Jeremy and I got out of bed to wait for his return.

While waiting, I left the room to go to into bathroom, and suddenly, I felt an quickening in my spirit. The thought came to me, “Go quickly down the Hall, there will be a knock at your door, and your son will answer it.” I ran down that hall, and no sooner than I got to the living room, there came a knock at my door. I went to the door, and said “Who is it?” and there was no answer. I looked through the peep hole in the door, and there was someone standing there wearing a black hoodie with his head down. All of a sudden, the door knob began to turn. I stayed by the door, and told my son to get our gun. After Jeremy gave me the gun, I told him to call the Police. When he had them on the phone, I took the phone, and explained the situation to them. The Police told me to shoot, if that man come through the door, and they were on their way. They arrived about 20 minutes later but, he was gone. Shortly, thereafter, my husband returned.

One of the things my Pastor taught me was the importance of listening to God’s Voice, and acting upon what He says to do.

 I want you to be assured, God keeps his Word, and protects His children!

May the PEACE of GOD be with you; May His LOVE overshadow you; May His HOPE fill your heart; And may His JOY be full in your soul.

“He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.”  I Samuel 2:9

I will be forever grateful for God’s protection on that awful night!

In God’s Love and † Grace, Susan Osten

My Mom’s Miracle

My mom passed away on April 12, 2011, at the age of 78 years old, from a rare, debilitating disease called Scleroderma.

My mom was nineteen years old when she contracted Tubercula Meningitis on the brain. My mom laid flat on her back for one year. She told me she stayed alive by eating everything she could get her hands on. When she was finally able to get out of bed, she had to learn to walk again. Thank you Jesus, for sparing my mom!

In † His Service, Susan Osten

God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the wise. 1 Corinthians 1:27

Consider for a moment just how incredible it was that God chose David to fight the giant Goliath. David was just a young boy when God called him. He was so young in age and immature in physical development that the Bible says, “And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance” (1 Samuel 17:42). Goliath took it as a joke when he saw who had been sent to fight with him. The giant laughed when he saw whom God had chosen! First Samuel 17:43 tells us what Goliath said: “…Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.” Who would have ever dreamed that God would select a young, inexperienced boy like David to bring down this giant? It may have looked laughable in the eyes of the world, but this young boy who fearlessly faced Goliath in battle was the exact person God had chosen! With that in mind, consider what Paul says in First Corinthians 1:27: “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.”

In † Christian Love, Susan Osten

Source: Daily Devotionals By Renner